As businesses look to cloud services providers to take their existing systems and move them to the cloud, whether it's in public or private cloud offerings, there's a growing opportunity for channel partners to provide their customers with migration services. One of the big opportunities in that area is in helping customers migrate to Microsoft Office 365.

In some cases, partners are seeing significant year-over-year increases in their cloud migration service revenue. Take San Diego-based Agile IT as an example. The company reported a 200 percent increase in its business between 2011 and 2012, much of it due to its fixed price Office 365 migration services. Such services were a huge boon to Agile IT, a company listed on the Talkin' Cloud Top 100 Cloud Computing Service Providers, and there's a continuously growing opportunity for other channel partners to cash in.

Even though there's a certain expectation of ease and cost-effectiveness to cloud computing (an expectation that is often met), there are plenty of challenges for customers to go through before they can reap the benefits. Taking an entire business' traditional on-premise data and process to the cloud requires time, effort and careful planning; and that's something the channel can excel at.

Agile IT increased its revenue from $1.5 million in 2011 to $3 million in 2012. That's just scratching the surface of the entire worldwide opportunity, and other providers can offer such value-added services to their customers by demonstrating their expertise in migration.

Whether it's in helping customers migrate to Office 365, Google Apps or other cloud-based services, there are opportunities for the channel to help those customers move to the cloud and embrace the benefits and realities of this new computing era.